AUBURN, Ala. — Elijah Daniel no longer figures into Auburn's future plans. In a statement released by the athletics department Saturday, coach Gus Malzahn announced Daniel wouldn't be part of the team following an arrest on multiple theft and burglary charges.
"I have decided to dismiss Elijah Daniel from our team," he said. "My hope is that he will learn from this situation."
Daniel, who would have been entering his junior season this fall, was arrested Wednesday along with DeNorris James and Khalil Sellers. All three were booked on four counts of theft of property (ranging from first to third degree) and four counts of burglary (one second degree and three third degree). The four burglary charges and two of the theft charges are felonies.
The arrests were the result of a monthlong investigation by the Auburn Police Department into a series of thefts and burglaries at the South Donahue Residence Hall. According to a release from the Auburn police, the dorm, where many of Auburn's football players reside, had reported "several burglaries and thefts" on March 29, just as students were returning to campus after spring break. In the release, residents reported to police investigators that someone had "unlawfully entered several dorm rooms" and "stole various electronic devices and jewelry" at some point during spring break.
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Daniel, James and Sellers, who all live in the residence hall, emerged as suspects. After police detectives searched several residences, the stolen electronics and jewelry were recovered. While additional charges are possible, Auburn police said there are no other suspects in the case.
James, who graduated from nearby Smiths Stations High School, was listed as a walk-on linebacker when the Tigers released their initial spring roster. He is no longer listed on the team's most up-to-date online roster, however.
Sellers, who hails from Aurora, Colo., had once walked on to Auburn's track team as a sprinter. He is not listed on the most recent roster on the athletics department website.
Hailing from Indianapolis, Daniel appeared in every game the Tigers played the past two seasons. He finishes his time at Auburn with career totals of 24 tackles (6.5 for loss) and 3.5 sacks. He was a consensus top-10 defensive end prospect in the Class of 2013.